I fell in love with Psychiatry as my medical specialty of lifelong learning and research during my rotation in this area while a student in medical school. At that time, an 11-year-old boy and his parents had been in a terrible accident with all three of them severely injured. The car accident left his body a shattered quadriplegic with cerebral palsy due to an anoxic brain injury. While the physical injuries of both his parents were less severe, the mental and emotional scars left by the accident were profound, especially for the mother. Having survived the accident and making progress at her physical healing, the mother nonetheless descended into a downward spiral of alcohol abuse that ended in suicide. That suicide stayed with me, I felt so sorry for the little boy, losing his mother on top of living with a permanently incapacitated body. With this family, I came to realize that illness of the mind can be even more deadly than physical disease or bodily trauma. I became fascinated with the challenge and decided to take it up.
Since then, I have done all that I can to fully prepare for the opportunity and challenge of a demanding residency position in Psychiatry. For years I have been fascinated by the unique challenges presented by Psychiatry, how most of the anomalies in Psychiatric patients entail feelings and behaviors that cannot be measured, as the tangible is always of secondary importance to what can only be sensed. Arriving at a correct diagnosis depends upon the ability of the psychiatrist to decode the patient's feedback. From all that I have seen and come to understand as a psychiatrist, understanding the full gambit of patient circumstances and context requires that one pays as much attention to the patient's family and caregivers as the patient themselves. I see family members and especially caregivers as allies, and often as keys to helping the patient to heal and for the family to fully support the patient in that recovery.
I have been inspired by several of my colleagues that have had the pleasure of going to Haiti on medical missions with teams of medical students to provide free Diabetes, hypertension, and other preventative health screenings as well as basic primary care camps for locals living in remote, poverty-stricken areas. On a local level in Canada, I want to use my position in the community to make sustainable contributions to programs that provide education and shelter for homeless children, as well as free medical care. But I hope to complement these local efforts with at least one annual mission to the Global South alongside coworkers.
I have a solid academic foundation in Medicine and Psychiatry as well as extensive volunteer experience in Canada and the US. My core rotation in Psychiatry impressed upon me the profound and positive impact of the direct patient-physician relationship, even in patients with severely debilitating disorders. In my homeland of India, for example, people tend to realize the need for medicine and medical intervention only when they are physically ill. Yet, guilt, remorse, depression, and stress are accompanied by physical symptoms and conditions that can spark or contribute to a premature death. The power to improve the quality of life of a patient is what I admire most in Psychiatry.
I look forward to my Psychiatry residency assignment with great eagerness and zeal, most keen to show compassion, empathy, and give my all to the mental health and wellbeing of my neighbors in the community that becomes my own.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Psychiatry Residency Personal Statement Editing